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Economy in Brief

U.S. Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices Dip
by Tom Moeller  July 21, 2015

Gasoline prices eased last week to an average $2.80 per gallon at the pump (-22.0% y/y) but remained higher than the low of $2.04 late in January. Haver Analytics constructs factors adjusting for the seasonal variation in pump prices. The seasonally adjusted price fell 5 cents to $2.67 per gallon. Spot market gasoline prices eased w/w to $1.93 per gallon (-30.8% y/y).

WTI crude oil costs eased to an average $51.69 per barrel (-49.5% y/y) last week, down from last month's high of $60.07. Yesterday, prices declined to $50.15 per barrel. These prices compare to a June 2014 high of $107.95. The seasonally adjusted price, generated by Haver Analytics, declined last week to $48.75 per barrel. Brent crude oil prices firmed to $57.17 per barrel but were $56.42 yesterday.

Natural gas prices improved last week to $2.90 per mmbtu (-28.4% y/y) and were $2.84 yesterday.

Gasoline demand improved 6.5% y/y and demand for all petroleum products rose 3.6% y/y. Gasoline inventories grew 1.6% y/y and inventories of all petroleum products increased 8.4% y/y. Crude oil production (input to refineries) grew 2.6% y/y during the last five weeks which was half the growth logged in June.

The energy price data are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The petroleum demand and inventory figures are from the Oil & Gas Journal Weekly. These data can be found in Haver's WEEKLY database. The daily figures are in DAILY and greater detail on prices, demand and production, along with regional breakdowns, are in OILWKLY.

Weekly Energy Prices 07/20/15 07/13/15 07/06/15 Y/Y% 2014 2013 2012
Retail Gasoline ($ per Gallon, Regular) 2.80 2.83 2.79 -22.0 2.30 3.33 3.30
Light Sweet Crude Oil, WTI ($ per bbl., WSJ) 51.69 52.38 57.92 -49.5 93.64 97.96 94.20
Natural Gas ($/mmbtu, LA, WSJ) 2.90 2.72 2.79 -28.4 4.37 3.73 2.7
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